Stress Reduction Problem: Your Job And Stress

Wednesday, April 29th 2009

If asked if your job is stressful, chances are you would answer with an emphatic "absolutley"! Work is by far the leading source of stress in our lives. Nine out of ten people say they have experienced high levels of stress every week. And one out of four of us have high stress levels every day.

What you may not know is that your stress from work may, in fact, be affecting your health. Stress affects the body in many different ways. Some kinds of stress are helpful. Others can cause serious health problems.

Chronic stress weakens the body's physiological systems and leads to innumerable health problems. It is a known fact that 70 to 80 percent of all disease and illness are stress related.

Major stress related health problems include:

- coronary heart disease
– cancer
- the common cold
- migraine headaches
– warts
- some cases of female infertility
– ulcers
– insomnia
– hypertension

We spend over $400 billion dollars a year on stress related diseases.

Even more scary is that job stress is at an all-time high and continues to rise. Gone are the days of working 40 hours a week. The average person now works 60 hours a week which means more hours of prolonged stress and less time to relax.

Job stress even seeps into our vacation time. According to Anderson Consulting, 80% of people who took vacations in 2000 stayed in touch with the office by taking their laptop or cell phone with them.

There are several indicators you can use to determine if you suffer from chronic stress. Warning signs of chronic stress include headaches, teeth-grinding, back pain (especially in the shoulders or neck), anxiety, and insomnia.

It is important to identify the factors at work that may be causing your stress. Examine the responsibilities of your job. The higher the responsibility of the job the higher the stress level. Your work space can also cause stress if it is loud, overcrowded, etc. If you have personality clashes at work, this can be one of the greatest sources of work-related stress.

If you suffer from chronic stress, there are a lot of things you can do for stress reduction. Some of the most effective stress management techniques include relaxation exercises, meditation, or taking a short nap. If you are at work and need to reduce stress, try deep (abdominal) breathing, take a short break, or talk to a friend or co-worker.

Ultimately, virtually every job is stressful in some way. But by identifying and effectively managing your stress, you can reduce its negative effects and enjoy a healthier life. You might even get your employer to start stress reduction programs

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